What is inductive-deductive paragraph? Give an example.  that is part of paragraph  

Asked on by herra

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amarang9's profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Inductive reasoning refers to making specific or particular observations/arguments which, together, build towards a more broad general conclusion.

Deductive reasoning refers to beginning with a general conclusion or statement and then finding specific or particular observations/arguments to support your initial thesis.

In other words, inductive starts with small things to get to the larger, general thesis (quantitative to qualitative); and deductive starts with a larger, general thesis and goes to find smaller elements to support it. (qualitative to quantitative)

I've never heard of an inductive-deductive paragraph, but I suppose it could mean a paragraph that utilizes both types of reasoning. If it is called an "inductive-deductive" paragraph, I guess it might also mean a paragraph which begins inductively and ends with a general deductive conclusion.

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James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

You asked for an example, so allow me to illustrate amarang9's excellent post. Imagine that there is a bag of potato chips that you've left open overnight and, now that you're hungry again, think might be worth eating.

You take one chip and eat it. It's stale.

You take a second chip and eat it. It's also stale.

You take a third chip and eat it. It's stale, too. 

By now, through inductive reasoning, you should have caught on that all of the chips in the bag are likely to be stale. You have moved from the particular observations (each individual, stale chip) to the general conclusion (the entire bag holds stale chips).

Now you have a general guideline -- when I leave a bag of chips open overnight, the chips will turn stale -- that may influence your behavior in the future. This general guideline may be used in deductive reasoning. Imagine that you weren't paying attention last night and, again, left a bag of chips open overnight. This time around (by applying deductive reasoning) you know with reasonable certainty that the chips will be stale. You don't have to eat one, two, or three chips to find out this time. You know to apply a general statement (an open bag of chips turns stale overnight) to a particular situation (this bag of chips was open overnight) and arrive at a conclusion (this bag of chips is stale).

I think that a number of paragraphs are structured in this manner. The particulars are first presented and discussed, and this discussion leads to a conclusion or general observation toward the end of the paragraph. This strategy is most often used when the subject is controversial. You may alienate your reader by opening a paragraph with the clearly phrased topic or general statement; you need to lead them through the particulars first.

kamayamen's profile pic

kamayamen | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

can you give me 2example of inductive and deductive paragraph with structure

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